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November is Alzheimer’s awareness month

It’s possibly the most difficult thing to watch a loved one go through – dementia or Alzheimer’s.

November serves as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Statistics show that the disease affects more than 5.8 million Americans and is estimated to grow by leaps and bound to 14 million by 2060.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.

The Centers for Disease Control describes it as a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.

Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60 and the risk increases with age.

People under age 60 may also get the disease, but it is less common.

While there are still many unknowns dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, age is considered the best known risk factor for the disease; however, it is not a normal part of aging.

Researchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimer’s.

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.

• Trouble handling money and paying bills.

• Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.

• Decreased or poor judgment.

• Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.

• Changes in mood, personality, or behavioral.

Nationally, the disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

It’s the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults and the fifth leading cause of death among adults aged 65 and older.

Whether you have Alzheimer’s, are a family caregiver, or have a loved one in your life with the disease, you can connect with support, answers, and local resources through AFA’s Helpline (866-232-8484), and web chat, available in 90 languages at www.alzfdn.org.